Tanner Carew, LS, Oregon
As the Vikings’ GM, I simply could not believe my luck here. The one flaw -- seriously, the one microscopic hole on this gorgeous team -- is the long snapper. Now imagine my luck that the best long snapper in the draft, and potentially the best in at least the last five years, is sitting pretty at the 30th overall pick. Do you know how many terrible QBs got drafted ahead of a surefire starter, this long snapper who will undoubtedly start at his position for the next dozen or more years for this team? It’s not often that you can get such an elite talent t the end of the 1st round. Let’s take a closer look at that beautiful long snapper, Tanner Carew out of Oregon:
Too good at long snapping?
And that’s that! I hope you enjoyed my write-up, and…
No, guys I can’t do this. I mean, I know the Vikings are saltier than Paula Deen swimming in the Dead Sea ... And yes, I know they’d be afraid to come over here and troll this pick out of fear of a virtual beer can barrage. And really, everyone, I don’t care how much flannel they wear, Minnesotans deserve more respect than this. When I think of dear old Millie and how much she has suffered of late… my conscience just won’t allow me to see her languish more by trolling my way through this pick. I just can’t do this to them, and frankly, BGN deserves better. This mock draft is a long-standing tradition, and I will not sully it by making such an offensive and ridiculous pick.
To any Vikings fans who are reading this: I am sorry. I should not have trolled you, and my fellow Eagles fans should have treated you with more respect. I hope you will continue reading, as I think you will like this pick.
My real pick:
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Maurice Hurst is one of my favorite overall players in this draft. He’s got the makings of pass-rush specialist in the 3-tech DT role that the Vikings were hoping Sharrif Floyd would fill. Unfortunately, Floyd has missed almost the entirety of the last two seasons after a week 1 injury in 2016 resulted in a botched surgery that has likely ended his promising career.
The Vikings already have a very strong defensive line, with pass rushers Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter both having standout campaigns, while Linval Joseph had perhaps the best year of his career at NT. Brian Robison remains a more-than-capable defensive end, while young guns Stephen Weatherly and Tashawn Bower have shown promise in rotational and reserve roles, respectively.
The 3-tech spot was solid last year -- Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen both saw significant time at the position and played relatively well. Tom Johnson saw the lion’s share of snaps, but the 33 year old veteran slowed down considerably at the end of the season. Shamar Stephen played well as a high-snap rotational player at the position, after starting most of the 2016 campaign. But both players signed with Seattle in free agency, leaving only Jaleel Johnson at the position. Johnson was originally slated in at NT, but moved to 3-tech towards the end of training camp. He played sparingly, but the Vikings seem to like him. Personally, I think he’s more of a rotational guy who can fill in at either DT spot.
Hurst would likely push for the starting position right away with the Vikings, though their healthy rotation will likely serve him well as he bulks up a little for the NFL. And that’s one of the biggest knocks on Hurst -- he has been listed at 6’2” and 269 lbs, which is very, very slight for an NFL DT (Brandon Graham measured in at 6’2” 269 lbs at the combine). But he showed up at the combine at 292 lbs, which should quell some concerns. I think his real playing weight is probably in the high 280s right now, which is fine. Aaron Donald measured 285 at the combine, Geno Atkins came in at 293, Gerald McCoy came in at 295 (at 6’4”)... I’ll stop there. His weight is fine for his position.
But the combine revealed potentially the biggest concern, and probably the reason he dropped to where he is: a possible heart condition. As a result, he did not work out at the combine. The same concerns popped up when he first started at Michigan and it didn’t impact his career. He was not asked to come back for a Combine re-check, which means most teams will likely clear him to play. A heart condition is always a concern, but this one seems unlikely to stop Hurst from playing in the NFL for somebody. The Vikings would be lucky to be that team.
I won’t go on too much more about Hurst as a player -- there’s plenty of scouting reports out there. The summary of those reports is that he’s got great burst, gets low, gets skinny, uses his hands well, and has quick feet. He’s going to hunt. He needs to get his head up and look for the ball more, he needs to develop better pass rush moves, and he needs to build strength to get off of blocks in the run game. He has flaws, but they’re coachable. His strengths will make him an impact player early in his career. I think he’s the third best DT in the draft right now behind Vea and Payne (Taven Bryan is too raw for my liking), and he might end up being the best of the bunch when all is said and done.
I was really only considering three options here: DT, OL, and draft free-fallers. Hurst and Orlando Brown are the only players who I thought were worth this pick when it came time to make my selection. Isaiah Wynn was on the borderline of my radar, but I’m not really sold on any of the interior linemen as first round picks, outside of Nelson.
Now, some people might criticize me for not going OL, and I think that’s valid. Personally, Orlando Brown was the only other player left on the board who I had a first round grade on. He would have been a great addition. After all, let’s take a look at how an OL could have helped the Vikings:
Imagine how a good RT could have helped in pass protection here:
Or how a better LT would have benefited them here:
But sometimes they don’t even use the tackles they have, so it must be a low priority:
The Vikings have some real talent at receiver, but you could argue in favor of somebody with great hands would help them avoid plays like this:
What about a linebacker upgrade?:
Maybe a defensive back was the way to go?:
At the end of the day, I think a good pass rushing DT would make the biggest difference. Imagine if they had Hurst in on this play:
Or this one?:
Well, I think I’ve made my case. Thanks for playing along, Vikings fans. I’m sure some of you have been good sports about it. Right? Hello? Come on out now, we won’t say mean things to you. Are there any Vikings out there who aren’t sore losers? ... Really, not even one? Well gosh, that’s a shame.
Do you approve of this pick?
This poll is closed
2018 BGN Community Mock Draft Order
1) Browns (GMinTraining): Saquon Barkley
2) Giants (ablesser88): Quenton Nelson
3) Jets (20Safety_Hazards): Sam Darnold
4) Browns (MJ1893): Josh Rosen
5) Broncos (drc242): Baker Mayfield
6) Colts (I Need a Username): Bradley Chubb
7) Buccaneers (dunc123): Minkah Fitzpatrick
8) Bears (NVEagleShark): Tremaine Edmunds
9) 49ers (Doug Pederson’s Pair of Balls): Calvin Ridley
10) Raiders (Milehighbirds): Derwin James
11) Dolphins (danishdynamite_): Roquan Smith
12) Bills (LAOJoe): Denzel Ward
13) Washington (Eagle1987): Vita Vea
14) Packers (89Tremaine): Mike Hughes
15) Cardinals (RimoDawkins): Josh Allen
16) Ravens (PhillyEagles2011): Mike McGlinchey
17) Chargers (LBCeaglesFan!): Da’Ron Payne
18) Seahawks (KEZHOG): Marcus Davenport
19) Cowboys (Brawnybalboa): Rashaan Evans
20) Lions (dshelton5): Derrius Guice
21) Bengals (Palaniappan K M): Connor Williams
22) Bills (BeamerWentzorBentley): Lamar Jackson
23) Patriots (jy1187): Harold Landry
24) Panthers (dceagles): Justin Reid
25) Titans (ei78): Leighton Vander Esch
26) Falcons (SakPrescott): Taven Bryan
27) Saints (MidMajorMatt): Courtland Sutton
28) Steelers (SummersInVA): Joshua Jackson
29) Jaguars (RecarTabmok): D.J. Moore
30) Vikings (AnthroEagle): Maurice Hurst
31) Patriots (PhilaWolverine):
32) Eagles (JALupowitz):
Now it’s time for you to vote for who YOU think the Falcons should pick in the 2018 BGN Consensus Mock Draft.
1) Browns: Saquon Barkley
2) Giants: Sam Darnold
3) Jets: Josh Rosen
4) Browns: Josh Allen
5) Broncos: Baker Mayfield
6) Colts: Bradley Chubb
7) Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick
8) Bears: Quenton Nelson
9) 49ers: Tremaine Edmunds
10) Raiders: Derwin James
11) Dolphins: Roquan Smith
12) Bills: Lamar Jackson
13) Washington: Vita Vea
14) Packers: Denzel Ward
15) Cardinals: Mason Rudolph
16) Ravens: Mike McGlinchey
17) Chargers: Da’Ron Payne
18) Seahawks: Marcus Davenport
19) Cowboys: Rashaan Evans
20) Lions: Derrius Guice
21) Bengals: Connor Williams
22) Bills: Calvin Ridley
23) Patriots: Harold Landry
24) Panthers: Courtland Sutton
25) Titans: Leighton Vander Esch
26) Falcons: Maurice Hurst
27) Saints: Dallas Goedert
28) Steelers: Joshua Jackson
29) Jaguars: D.J. Moore
Who should the Vikings pick at No. 30?
This poll is closed